Carolina’s Story | EF Alumni Student Voices

Being a daughter of Colombian parents, you learn a whole lot that isn’t taught in school growing up. For me, it was to dream big and to believe I can obtain the things that I want in life with hard work and the dedication to build my legacy – thanks, Mom & Dad.

I went on my very first short-term study abroad program in 2014 to Italy & Greece with EF Study Abroad. Little did I know then that the two-week program would forever change my life and would give me a newfound purpose. I can still recall that plane ride to Rome with fourteen classmates, four professors, and one of my best friends. The amount of emotions and excitement that arose on that Lufthansa flight is beyond my understanding. It was my first time embarking on a European adventure, and I was ready to experience it all.

Fast forward six years and I’ve now traveled to over 35 countries and taken over 100 plane rides. I’ve left a piece of my heart in every country that I’ve traveled to. From seeing icebergs in Iceland to skiing in the Swiss Alps, to sleeping in the Sahara Desert and hopping on a train to Shenzhen, I’ve had the best experiences traveling abroad. And if that is not enough to convince you what the power of study abroad can do then, did I tell you that I opened an online clothing boutique? Yes, confidence is what study abroad gave me to continue to move the needle on my life goals.

Today, I am a young woman who has seen the poorest slums in India and also the most beautiful landscapes in Peru. There are countless experiences I can still remember from scuba diving in Bali to having an enormous manta ray swimming above me. Every trip has challenged me to become a powerful woman who accepts people as they are and love unconditionally.

All these memories, different experiences, foods, cultures, and all the countless people that have impacted my life were in part, sparked by my first program with EF Study Abroad. These experiences have been part of my journey and have helped shape the woman that I am today. I am stronger and more confident than ever. My parents are amazed at how I have all this passion and hunger to see the world. None of this would have been possible without my first study abroad experience with EF. At the time, I did not know that just a two-week study abroad program was preparing me to see the world with different eyes.

If you’re in college, no matter the major your studying or your age, my advice to you would be to go and sign up for that program. I’ve shared my traveling experiences with so many people and time and time again I connect with people who mention that their biggest regret in college is not applying to a study abroad program — don’t let that be you! Take that leap of faith, and just go for it, I promise you won’t regret the outcome of how your life is going to unfold.
Listen to Carolina and other EF Study Abroad Alumni reflect on their experiences traveling abroad with EF

Ready to make your short-term study abroad dreams a reality? Browse EF Study Abroad’s programs here.

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